Otavi is a town of 4,000 inhabitants in the Otjozondjupa Region of central Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

. It is the district capital of the Otavi electoral constituency
Otavi Constituency
Otavi Constituency is an electoral constituency in the Otjozondjupa Region of Namibia. It has 11,620 inhabitants and consists of the town of Otavi and the surrounding rural area....

. Most of the area is dolomitic
Dolomite is a carbonate mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate CaMg2. The term is also used to describe the sedimentary carbonate rock dolostone....

The Precambrian is the name which describes the large span of time in Earth's history before the current Phanerozoic Eon, and is a Supereon divided into several eons of the geologic time scale...

) and the district was in the past renowned for its mineral wealth. Most of the deposits have now been exhausted.

Otavi Triangle

The towns of Otavi, Tsumeb
Tsumeb is a city of 15,000 inhabitants and the largest town in Oshikoto region in northern Namibia. Tsumeb is the home of the world-famous Tsumeb mine, and the "gateway to the north" of Namibia. It is the closest town to the Etosha National Park...

 (to the north) and Grootfontein
Grootfontein is a city of 14,200 inhabitants in the Otjozondjupa Region of central Namibia. It is one of the three towns in the Otavi Triangle, situated on the B8 national road that leads from Windhoek to the Caprivi Strip...

 (to the northeast) define an area known as the "Otavi Triangle", also known as the Otavi Mountainland. This geographical region is sometimes referred to as the "Golden Triangle", or as the "mahangu Triangle", owing to the cultivation of mahangu
Pearl millet
Pearl millet is the most widely grown type of millet. Grown in Africa and the Indian subcontinent since prehistoric times, it is generally accepted that pearl millet originated in Africa and was subsequently introduced into India. The center of diversity, and suggested area of domestication, for...

 in the area. The three towns that define the triangle are roughly 60 km from each other.


On July 1, 1915, the German Army was defeated at Otavi
Battle of Otavi
The Battle of Otavi fought between the militaries of the Union of South Africa and German Southwest Africa on 1 July, 1915 was the final battle of the South-West Africa Campaign of World War I. The battle, fought between Otavi mountain and Otavifontein, was a delaying action led by the German Major...

 by South African troops; on June 9 they surrendered nearby and signed the Khorab Peace Treaty. There is a memorial to this event a few miles outside of Otavi.


Much of the town's economy relies on the two grocery stores, a mill, 2 banks, two gas stations, and many surrounding game/cattle farms, as well as a handful of other small business. The owners of most of these businesses are Afrikaners (white Africans of Boer
Boer is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for farmer, which came to denote the descendants of the Dutch-speaking settlers of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa during the 18th century, as well as those who left the Cape Colony during the 19th century to settle in the Orange Free State,...

, ultimately Dutch, heritage) or Germans.

Due to financial mismanagement, Otavi lost its town status in 2004 and was downgraded to "village". After revenue picked up again, town status was reinstated in November 2010. With the foundation of the Ohorongo Cement
Ohorongo Cement
Ohorongo Cement operates the only cement factory in Namibia. The Ohorongo Cement Plant is located on Farm Sargberg near Otavi in the Otjozondjupa Region. Today German group Schwenk Zement KG owns 100% of the company, but is investigating Namibian institutional investors.The ground breaking ceremony...

 factory and a gold mine to be opened , business and employment is supposed to pick up significantly.


Otavi is a railway junction where the line to Oshikango
Oshikango is a village in northern Namibia and a border post to Angola. Since 2004 it is part of the town of Helao Nafidi but still maintains its own village council. It is the district capital of the Oshikango Constituency...

 branches off the line to Oshakati
Oshakati is a town of 30,000 inhabitants in the Oshana Region of Namibia. It is the regional capital and was officially founded in July 1966. The city was used as a base of operations by the South African Defence Force during the South African Border War and Namibian War of Independence...

. The B1
B1 road (Namibia)
The B1 is one of the most important roads in Namibia, passing through the centre of the country in a north-south direction. It connects Noordoewer on the South African border with Oshikango in the north on the Angolan border...

, the main road going North and South through Namibia runs right through Otavi, about a 3½ hour drive from the capital, Windhoek.
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